Homicide in Scotland, 2022-23

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published Homicide in Scotland, 2022-23. The publication provides information on crimes of homicide recorded by the police in Scotland in 2022-23. The main findings are:

In 2022-23, 52 victims of homicide were recorded, 2% (or one victim) fewer than the 53 victims recorded in 2021-22. This is the lowest number of recorded homicide victims since comparable records began in 1976.

Over the latest 10 year period from 2013-14 to 2022-23, the number of victims fell by 16% (or 10 victims) from 62 to 52.

Over the latest 20 year period from 2003-04 to 2022-23, the number of homicide victims in Scotland has fallen by over half (52% or 57 victims) from 109 to 52. The biggest reduction in homicide victims over the last 20 years has been amongst young people aged 16-24. In the five years between 2003-04 to 2007-08 there were 126 victims in this age range. This dropped to 24 across the latest five years between 2018-19 to 2022-23.

Of the 52 victims recorded in 2022-23, 75% (39) were male and 25% (13) were female.

In 2022-23, 73 persons were accused of homicide, of which 88% (64) were male and 12% (nine) were female. For all the 52 homicide victims recorded in 2022-23, the associated case was solved.

For each of the last 20 years, the most common method of killing was with a sharp instrument. In 2022-23, a sharp instrument was the main method of killing for 58% (or 30) of homicide victims.

For the latest year of 2022-23, the majority (54%) of male victims were killed by an acquaintance (21 of 39 male victims).

In the latest year of 2022-23, eight victims were killed by a partner or ex-partner. Six female victims (46% of all female homicide victims) and two male victims (5% of all male victims).

Whilst most recorded incidents of homicide in these statistics have one victim and one accused, some incidents can have multiple victims and (or) accused. There were 51 homicide incidents recorded in 2022-23, 2% (or 1 incident) fewer than the 52 recorded in 2021-22.


The full statistical publication can be accessed at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/homicide-scotland-2022-23/ 

  1. The term “sharp instrument” includes knives, broken bottles, swords, sharpened screwdrivers and any other pointed or edged weapons.
  2. Further information on Crime and Justice statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:


  1. National statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of National statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:



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